Published December 11, 2017
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS – On Saturday, December 9, 2017, the American Indian Center of Chicago held its 64th Annual Powwow at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Jasmine Gurneau, Program Coordinator for Native American and Indigenous Initiatives, emphasized in the opening remarks that everyone present was on ancestral territory of the Potawatomi, Menominee, Winnebago as well as other tribes that continue to call Chicago home.
Outgoing 2017 Miss Indian Center of Chicago, Alexis Roy, First Nations; incoming 2018 Miss Indian Center of Chicago, Cheyenne Reza, Yavapai; Jr. Miss outgoing, Jaelyn Sauseda, Winnebago/Ho Chunk; and Jr. Miss incoming: Nizhoni Ward, Navajo
With the backdrop of Lake Michigan behind the performers the dance floor glowed throughout the afternoon welcoming attendees of all ages to join in. A special performance by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island dancers was led by the rhythmic drumming and authentic songs of Lanialoha Lee, Founder and Executive Director of the Aloha Center of Chicago.
During the event over 60 American Indian tribes were represented celebrating kinship and culture through song, dance, and prayer. A variety of dances that included the “Fish Dance,” the two step, and blanket dance encouraged everyone present to join in and become part of the family. Friendships old and new were celebrated thanks to the dedication of the University to support this event.
Northwestern’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research has been collaborating with the American Indian Center nurturing relationships with tribes and Native American advocacy organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.
Sponsors for this event included the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Albany Bank and Northwestern University.
Native News Online photographs by Melyssa Navis.